Monday, April 18, 2005

800 year old prayers

Yesterday in church we sang a modernized version of "All Creatures of our God and King" composed by St. Francis of Assisi, a 13th Century christian who founded the Franciscan Order of priests. St. Francis is the Catholic patron saint of animals and the environment, and that is something I can see.

My wife and former pastor both affectionately call me a tree-hugger. The environment is a passion of mine. Not the kind of passion that causes me to attack others or impose governmental regulation to protect. Rather, I like to persuade people to change their behaviors to protect the environment, keeping in mind that the world was made for us to use, as stewards would take care of their Master's estate.

That being said, "All Creatures" has always spoken to me. I have a little bit of the gift of seeing God in His Creation. Rich Mullins really had the gift, and I love his music for that. Recently we found out that our beloved dog Hannibal is not long for this world. He is a wonderful 12 yr old Lab/Golden Retriever cross who is wonderful. I feel a little Franciscan in the way I love him and take care of him. We recently have undergone a role reversal where I am the one looking out for him and protecting him, instead of him doing that for my family. He is a little senile, has some arthritis and is rapidly losing weight from a liver problem. It is an honor to care for him this way after all of the joy, protection and companionship he has given me and my family. My girls have always known him to be there, and he watches over them constantly. This will be a hard goodbye, but one with a great deal of fond memories of him. I know dogs aren't people, but I would like to see him again in heaven without his infirmities. Just to play fetch again.

I'd appreciate your prayers. He is fine now, but the vet didn't even vaccinate him this year. As the disease progresses, it will get harder. Right now he just seems like a skinny, older version of himself.



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